Wednesday, January 30, 2008


My darling Scrappy,

I owe you an apology. Several apologies, actually. Because of what happened with your sister last summer, there is a part of me that is scared to get excited about you, even scared to trust you. I have managed to find something to worry about, despite every milestone that you’ve passed. Instead of enjoying this pregnancy and finding joy in every day you are with me, healthy and growing, I have been focusing almost all my attention on anything and everything that could still go wrong. This is not good for you or me, and it stops now.

I don’t know why I’ve doubted you so much. It’s not fair to you that I’ve made you prove yourself over and over again to me. I’m sorry that I’ve taken to the internet with every burp, hiccup and bizarre paranoid delusion about you that has crossed my mind. I’m sorry that I’ve rushed to the walk-in clinic not once, but TWICE this week, just to verify that your beautiful beating heart is still there. I’m sorry that I haven’t been able to bring myself to buy you anything or start on your nursery yet. You don’t deserve any of this.

I will be cancelling the Nuchal Translucency Screening that I have booked. I don’t want to ask any more questions of you. We already know that you are growing, healthy and strong; I don’t need or want to know anything else. Besides, there is nothing anyone can tell your daddy or me that will make us love you any less than we already do.

You are the most important thing in our lives, little Scrappy. You are in my every thought and I would do anything for you. I love you so much it makes me cry. Because of this, and coupled with the fact that I have been so conditioned to receive bad news, is why I think I’ve treated you so disrespectfully until now. I didn’t do it on purpose – it’s all been a product of my fear, but that’s no excuse. I want you to know: I am so sorry, I do trust you, and my behavior is going to change. Now.

I am new at this mothering thing and I suspect this will not be the last mistake I’ll make. But I'm learning.

Please forgive me.

Your Mum

Sunday, January 27, 2008

11 Weeks Today

Last week flew by (thank goodness) and Scrappy and I have now landed square on the 11 week mark. It's a weird place actually; I'm almost ready to be confident, but not quite. That's not to say that I'm not confident in many regards, it's just that my mental goal of "12 weeks" looms large in the near future. I feel like that's the day that I can finally shout from the rooftops that I'm pregnant. I'll feel like I can finally start thinking about buying things for the baby, and maybe - just maybe - saying things about our future kid out loud without feverishly knocking on wood (and making everyone else in the room knock on wood too!). Of course I know that bad things can happen well after the 12 week mark, but for some reason, I've established this date in my head as the threshold of this whole thing becoming...real. Really, really real.

One week to go... *sigh*

The Baby Fair was L.A.M.E. Seriously lame. First of all, it was pretty small and PACKED with pregnant bi-atches and I don't do well in small crowded places at the best of times. The freebies were trite at best, a lot of them being candy, which I can't eat anyway. The highlights were 1) Chatting with folks are Cherish Childbirth about having someone come to our home to give us private birthing classes (very cool) and 2) Spending the afternoon with my mum.

Mum was so cute, wanting to buy me every cute baby outfit we saw (and there really were quite a few) but I wouldn't and couldn't let her. I'm still so superstitious I just can't abide a baby purchase until next week.

I'm afraid this week coming up will be a long one. I don't have any doctor's appointments scheduled next week and I just know I'll be counting the seconds every day until we get to our 12 week mark. (But in two weeks we have our nuchal screening scheduled so I have plenty of time to start getting nervous for that, don't I?)

I went out for lunch with my friend pregnant L yesterday. She is 38 weeks now, the baby has dropped, and she is seriously going to give birth to her first child any second now. She said something that I hardly ever, make that never, consider: She said, "Hilary, you worry and fret about everything. You're so nervous. After everything you went through, I can imagine that you must think that pregnancy is such a fragile thing, but really - babies are tough!" Hmmm. I think the idea that 'babies are tough' is such a bizarre notion to anyone who's ever struggled with loss or infertility, but I know deep down, under all the insecurity, that she's right. *knocks on wood*

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Down With Bananas

Well I think I can say that I’m definitely getting a belly. My loosest work pants are now, as of today, officially tight around the waist. For the past two days, my belly has felt and looked noticeably bigger (noticeable of course only to the two people that see me naked on a regular basis). Maternity clothes are not far away, I think.

This morning, while making my peanut-butter-and-banana breakfast sandwich, I realized that something about it was not right. I couldn’t put my finger on it, but this sandwich was different. Strange. Unappealing. I proceeded anyway, chalking up my sandwich displeasure to still being half-asleep. I had a few bites before I realized what was going on.

I am officially OFF BANANAS. Never has anything tasted or smelled so foul. The mere thought of them while typing about it now is absolutely revolting. And please understand, I have eaten a couple of bananas a week for as long as I can remember, so you can just imagine my confusion. But hear me now: Bananas No More. They are hereby rendered gross.

Isn’t pregnancy a strange and wonderful mystery?

In other news, I will be attending the “Vancouver’s Largest Baby Shower” event on Sunday with my mum. I must admit that I’m really excited. Imagine. Actually being pregnant and going to a baby fair with my mum. Could anything be more wonderful?

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

First Pre-Natal Doctor's Appointment

The doctor's appointment went great. I was a nervous wreck leading up to it (as usual) but it was all for nothing (as usual).

We went over the normal stuff - history, medications, bloodwork requisitions, instructions, etc. Then Dr. R did a quick heart and blood pressure check - all normal. She gave me some papers to book my 18-20 week ultrasound and some information on the hospital where I will give birth. Then she pulled out the piece de la resistance: The fetal doppler. I was a little scared - okay make that very scared - that she wouldn't find Scrappy's heartbeat because it was too early. And even though I was fully aware that even if she didn't find it, it didn't necessarily mean bad news, I knew I would have freaked right out anyway.


She found it. It took a couple of minutes but she was patient and eventually we heard it. A beautiful, perfect heartbeat. It was quiet and sounded distant, but Dr. R said that was only because the baby is small and tucked in my pelvis and that her doppler wasn't great at amplifying the sound. Scrappy's heart rate was a lovely 160 bpm. Dr. R said that it was perfect.

I said, "So. I'm 10 weeks 3 days and we heard a strong heartbeat of 160. Does this mean I don't need to worry today?"

Dr. R replied, "I don't think you don't need to worry at all."

A tall order, but I'm really going to give it a sporting try.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Feed Me, Seymour!

I am so freakin’ into food right now.

Someone asked me the other day if I’ve had any cravings yet and my answer is “I crave whatever is in front of me at the moment!” When I’m eating dinner, I’m daydreaming about breakfast. Grocery shopping has become a ridiculous experience as I lose all sense of restraint. EVERYTHING looks so delicious! *drools on keyboard*

Well I shouldn’t say everything. Surprisingly, the only thing that sounds gross to me is anything sweet (not including fruit). I want nothing to do with cake, candy, cookies, pastries, etc. NOTHING. This is a bit odd because before I got pregnant I was a sugar freak. I would choose a cupcake over a sandwich any old day. These days, my appetite is quite the opposite. I want fresh stuff – veggies, fruit, cheese (OMG cheese), milk, bacon, chicken, frittatas, tacos, cottage cheese, meatballs, wholegrain toast with butter, almonds, cashews (I could go on…and on). I don’t think this new anti-sweets phenomenon is actually a “food aversion” though. Rather, I think this new development with my palate has more to do with the fact that I know what sweet stuff will do to my insulin levels, and that’s what makes it so unappealing. I’m finding pregnancy has elicited such an amazingly strong sense of baby and health preservation; every thought, action, decision, preference, and day-to-day desire is 100% about keeping Scrappy healthy, happy and safe. The feeling is so strong, so overpowering, I’m finding it quite awe striking at times. I guess that’s motherhood at its most basic and instinctual level.

Tomorrow is my first “real” doctor’s appointment with my OB/GYN since being released from the fertility clinic. I’m excited, albeit a little bit nervous that it will be too early to hear Scrappy’s heartbeat by means of Doppler. I’m nervous, but hopeful.

Thank goodness I had that ultrasound last Thursday or I would be beside myself right now.

Knocking on wood and fingers crossed that all will go very well tomorrow. Wish us luck!

Sunday, January 20, 2008

10 Weeks Today

The first thing D said to me when I woke up this morning was "Guess what today is?" I knew right away. "10 weeks!" I exclaimed.

So we're at 10 weeks today, only 14 days shy of that beautiful 12 week mark. I'm still clinging to that date, even though my doctor said that we're safe at 10 weeks. Apparently with all the new technology that is available now, 10 weeks is the new 12 weeks. That's all well and good, and believe me - I am so beyond grateful - but I'm still holding (most of) my breath until February 3rd (our 12 week mark). Something about that goal is really important to me, even if it is just a number.

Yesterday D and I got into a stupid fight because I was being anxious again. We went to see the movie Cloverfield. Truthfully, I really didn't want to go at all, but D really wanted to see it and he's been working so much lately, I thought I would just suck it up and spend some quality time with my husband.

What I didn't account for was the noise.

Cloverfield, in case you don't know, is a very VERY loud action/horror movie and let me tell you - there were several times in the movie where the sound was so intensely loud, I could feel the vibrations going right through my body. [80-year-old woman commentary: Did it really have to be so loud? Why can't we just enjoy the movie at a reasonable level? Sheesh!] Well I started getting worried about Scrappy. Not so much about the noise - I know the baby's ears aren't developed yet - I was more concerned about the vibrations. I tried to muffle my abdomen with my coat and I tried to sit in such a way (very uncomfortable) to make it so the least amount of vibrations came through my body. All in all, I was miserable and I couldn't wait to get out of there. I kept squirming and being worried and getting up and coming back (don't worry - I'm not THAT person...We were in the back corner so none of the other moviegoers were affected by my up-and-downiness) and D started getting really frustrated with me. When the movie was over (finally!) he was really worked up. He was mad at me for worrying about "yet another stupid thing"...and "why did I come in the first place?" I apologized like a million times, but he was having none of it. We walked home in silence and it was a lousy afternoon.

So I pose this question to you all: Was I being ridiculous to be worried that VERY loud noise and vibrations could potentially harm a fetus? Please be honest, I promise I won't get upset either way. I just want to know if I was being stupid or if I had a point.

In any case, D and I finally reconciled a couple of hours later and he has agreed to be more patient with my pregnancy-charged-over-protective-craziness and I have agreed not to bring my concerns up with him for a while. He needs a break from it, I think.

It's a beautiful feeling to know that I'm already one-quarter of the way through my pregnancy. I am so so SO excited to meet my little one, mid-August just can't come soon enough.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Beautiful Peanut

Our little Scrappy never fails to disappoint. As usual, I was a nervous wreck before the ultrasound this morning, so much so that I barely slept a wink last night fretting and being anxious about it.

My wonderful RE met us right at 7:45am, squeezing us in before her other patients, and by 7:50am I was in the stirrups. I told her I was feeling really nervous and she calmed me down by saying that she was “quite certain everything is fine”.

Scrappy popped up on the ultrasound screen within seconds. Scrappy is much bigger than last time, and his heartbeat is no longer a flashing flicker; now it looks more like kneading a ball of sand on the screen. The first thing Dr. T said was that everything looked perfect.

Then – the best thing happened – the baby started paddling and kicking its little feet! It was, hands down, the cutest, sweetest thing I’ve ever been fortunate enough to witness. I gotta admit, I am completely, head-over-heels IN LOVE with this kid. Scrappy, you have stolen my heart.

Dr. T checked the heartbeat a couple of times. The first time, it was quite fast, and she said this was because I was so nervous and anxious. She measured it again after I had calmed down a bit and sure enough, it slowed down a bit. Dr. T added that a fast heartbeat (as long as it is within the normal range) is never a bad thing. They only worry when it is too slow.

And just like last time, Scrappy measured right on track at 9w4d – which is exactly what I am today.

The whole appointment was just magic. I am so happy, so blessed, so grateful. And now, I feel I can make an honest effort to calm down and not be *so* anxious. I will always worry to some degree, I’m quite certain of that, but I think I can take it down a few notches now.

I am nearly 10 weeks pregnant and the baby is perfectly healthy. I truly am the luckiest girl in the world.

Here are the scanned pictures from the ultrasound. It’s hard to tell, but Scrappy’s head is the lump on the right side of the scans. I think you can click on the photo to see them larger.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Humble Pie

When I found out my Ob/Gyn didn't have an ultrasound machine at her office, I was disappointed. Then, when I read that sometimes 10 weeks is too early to pick up the baby's heartbeat on Doppler, I panicked. If she couldn't hear the heartbeat at my appointment next week, I would be likely to freak right out (even if my logical mind knows it could be too early).

So guess what I did?

I emailed my wonderful RE at the fertility clinic and begged her for an ultrasound. I offered up cash, diamonds, gold bouillon, anything. She kindly offered to let me sneak in for a "quickie" on Thursday (Jan 17) morning at 7:45am - before her other patients arrive. Have I mentioned that I love my RE? Even though I am officially "discharged" from the fertility clinic, I am holding on with all teeth and claws, I tell you. I don't want to be treated like everyone else! I want to be special!!

Anyway, so now I get to go in for an ultrasound in two mornings from now. My first reaction was excitement, but now that it's sunk in - I'm scared and worry-addled all over again, just like before my first ultrasound at 7 weeks. I know the odds are in my favour, but I'm still nervous.

I think I've become so accustomed to my very mild pregnancy symptoms, that I'm having a hard time "feeling pregnant" at this stage and I realize 9 weeks isn't all that far along to be feeling much. I don't even know what I'd want to be feeling, all I know is that I guess I thought it would be more than this.

What I am feeling:
-HUGE breasts, aureolas darker and bigger now
-Hungry, thirsty, tired
-The occasional very mild twinge thing in my uterus
-Grouchy, sensitive, irrational
-Occasional backache (sciatica)

If you can spare a good thought, please send one my way for Thursday morning. I'm trying to think logically and not get all worried by my irrational brain (see list above) takes over with fear and anxiety every so often and I find myself rocking in the corner and foaming at the mouth. I really don't care about anything else anymore - I just want my Scrappy to be healthy and growing strong. Thanks for reading.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

9 Weeks Today [Updated]

So 9 weeks today, and thank goodness - week 8 went by so slowly. Hopefully week 9 will fly right by.

I am having a nervous and anxious day. This long wait between appointments is really hard. And I know this is just the beginning - the stretches between appointments is just going to get longer as I get further on in my pregnancy. I'm actually considering going to the walk-in clinic to see if I can get some quick Doppler time today. I haven't decided yet.

As far as how I'm feeling, well nothing too dramatic. My breasts are still HUGE and I'm tired and hungry. But other than that, I'm not feeling all that different.

Okay, decision made: No walk-in clinic, no Doppler time today. I think I'm just going to eat some breakfast and clean my house and try to get my mind off my anxiety. Deep down, I have faith in my little Scrappy; s/he's not called "Scrappy" for nothin'.

[Update:] It's the next morning and I'm feeling much better. After having good dreams about being pregnant all night, I woke up with excruciatingly sore breasts. It's amazing how stuff like that can help me to unclench...well, if only for a few hours *wink*.

Friday, January 11, 2008

All Over The Map

This week has gone excruciatingly slowly. I suppose that this is a common occurrence whilst one is waiting on pins and needles to get to that gorgeous 12 week mark. Physically and emotionally, I’ve been all over the map.

Physically this week, I’ve had a couple of days where I’ve felt, well, nothing. Nothing to speak of, really at all. And conversely I’ve had other days this week where I’ve felt everything all at once – bloating, very mild cramping, constipation, tender breasts, sciatica, fatigue, extreme hunger and thirst. Currently, the only constant non-subjective symptom I’ve got going is my GIANT breasts that are usually tender but sometimes not.

To go along with my GIANT breasts, I’m really and truly getting a belly. Now, don’t get me wrong folks, I totally know that it’s a tad too early for me to be showing a belly full of baby yet, but my stomach really does stick out a lot farther than it did just a couple of weeks ago. It’s probably gas, water retention distended bowels, bloat, the fact that my appetite is currently a bottomless pit – you name it. But today, I really do look pregnant. Even if I try to hold it in, it makes little difference. I love it. I am so, so thankful for every pregnant day that I wake up with Scrappy. I absolutely ADORE feeling all the little reminders of Scrappy's lovely existance.

Emotionally this week, I’ve been in crisis mode at least once or twice a day. I have felt incredibly unstable and shockingly irrational. If non-pregnant Hilary met me, she would laugh. Example 1: I yelled – make that screamed – at a bus driver for missing my stop. Example 2: I’ve picked numerous fights with my poor patient husband. Example 3: I threw a fit and nearly burst into tears when I told one of the executives I work for that I am pregnant and he responded by saying, “Now you do know that you have to be very cautious not to elevate your expectations…” Granted, that was an extremely shitty thing to say, (who says something like that?) but, my reaction was a bit over-the-top. As if anything anyone says could possibly have any effect on my pregnancy. Irrationality strikes again.

I’m having a hard time caring about anything else but Scrappy right now. I am head over heels in love. Every single thought I have revolves around our little one. This has made work, housecleaning, and social relationships an annoying and unwanted distraction these days. All I want to do is sit around and be pregnant.

Is that so much to ask???

Monday, January 7, 2008

Doppler Decision, Doctor's Appointment & Honeydew

Well, after much internal debate, I have decided to heed the advice of the majority and NOT get a fetal doppler. As much as I want one, I know I would abuse it. And, I want to have some faith in my little Scrappy. It was a very tough choice, but I think it's the right one. At least for now.

I made my first "real" doctor's appointment today since being "discharged" (actually I think they use the term "graduated") from the fertility clinic. I will be seeing Dr. R on Wednesday, January 23rd at 3:00pm. At that time, I will be 10w3d. I am really excited, but I'm sure you will not be surprised to read that I am also very nervous all over again. I so hope we'll get to see that little Scrappy has grown and is doing just perfectly. I have asked D to go with me - it's really hard for him to get time off work so it was a big request - but he is my good luck charm so his presence is imperative.

I've felt a low, heavy weight in my lower abdomen/uterus all day. It feels like I'm carrying around a honeydew melon in there. I feel very bloated and "on the verge of being crampy", but the cramps never come. I like to think and hope that's my Scrappy setting up shop in there.

Go ahead honey, make yourself right at home.

Sunday, January 6, 2008

8 Weeks Today

Eight weeks. Wow!

How I'm feeling:
-Brief, quick, random moments of mild nausea (barely any, really)
-Hungry, Thirsty
-Still peeing A LOT
-Face breaking out like I'm a teenager
-Starting to get a bit constipated
-The sore breasts have really gone down over the past week
-Tingling sensation in my cervix
-Backache, muscle spasms
-A bit moody
-Bloating after meals
-Thrilled, with moments of worry interspersed

My latest worry came from an "incident" that happened last night. Let's call it the "Grocery Bag Incident". I went down to the grocery store a couple of blocks away last night to pick up something for dinner. While I was there, I found a bunch of other things I wanted, and threw them into the buggy, not thinking about the fact that I'd have to carry all this stuff home.

When I went and checked out, I panicked as the cashier loaded up all the bags. I panicked again when I realized I forgot my cell phone and couldn't call D to come down and help me carry them. Stupidly, very stupidly, I struggled with ALL the bags by myself and took them back to our condo. I am a terrible guesser of weight, but I am thinking the bags weighed a total of 25 pounds or so - divided between both arms. They really felt too heavy for what I should be safely lifting.

When I got home, D immediately scolded me for not being more careful. As if I didn't feel guilty enough. He yelled and yelled about how irresponsible I was being and how I have to think about the baby, etc. I got mad right back at him because I already felt bad enough, I was already beating myself up about it, I certainly didn't need his help to feel terrible. The whole thing escalated into a big stupid fight and consequently, I had horrible dreams all last night.

This morning, when I woke up, I immediately got the urge to get a fetal doppler. Now, understandably, this could be a dangerous little toy for a freaker-outer like me. I can easily envision myself abusing a fetal doppler - and worrying about silly stuff like "the heartbeat is 2 beats slower today than yesterday", etc. D and I are currently in tense negotiations about whether we should get one or not. He doesn't think so. But I want one. I think it would be grand to have reassurance at the touch of a button.


Thursday, January 3, 2008

A Short Commentary On Micturition

I never thought it could be possible to pee, like 30 times, in a single workday.

Tomorrow I shall keep count in a journal and report back; Although if nature's great forces get the better of me, it may be necessary to move my computer and phone into the ladies' so I can work from there.

Let's hope it does not come to that.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Alive & Kicking!

Thank you everyone for sending all those lovely thoughts, prayers and well wishes our way.

I am overjoyed to report that this morning's ultrasound went perfectly, and I am quite floppy with relief.

Not only did we see the most beautiful heartbeat in the world, but we got to hear it too. I was so moved by the experience that I wept through the entire appointment. The heartbeat was robust and the doctor said it looked great. The baby was measured at 7w3d - which is exactly what I am today. It could not have gone better.

We were given an ultrasound photo which I was tempted to take a picture of and post (we don't have a working scanner), but the printout is so small and grainy I don't think it would be of any interest to anyone but D and me. But I have to tell you, it is the most gorgeous little baby you've ever seen.

I can honestly say this is the happiest day I can ever remember having in my whole life. This is all starting to feel so real.

I must admit, I am starting to get excited...